Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Iridescence over Canyonlands

This photo was taken at Canyonlands National Park in the U.S. and shows a beautiful iridescent color spectrum formed from the light of the setting sun.

The sunlight is hitting tiny droplets of water in the clouds (20 μm or so in diameter) and being split apart into this pattern. The amount each ray of light is deflected depends on the wavelength (color) of the light, creating the horizontal pattern moving away from the sun.

The photo was created by combining two exposures; one with f/13 and 1/4000 second exposure, the other with f/5 and 1/2000 second exposure.

Photo credit: Earth Science picture of the day, reproduced here with permission from photographer Alissa Pajer

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